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Play hard while you Work hard to boost Productivity

When HR departments offer employees game-like experiences played on mobile devices to perform their tasks, their engagement and job satisfaction rise, as do the company’s results, new research from NEOMA Business School reveals.

According to co-authors Professor Ales Popovic and Assistant Professor Laura Ruiz at NEOMA, apps and mobile devices are resources that can be used to create value for firms.

“The mix of competition and cooperation, challenges and rewards generates expectations, suspense, and curiosity. Day-to-day work becomes more engaging and might even evolve into an immersive experience if the game provides quick feedback about the quality of the tasks undertaken,” says Popovic.

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Their study draws on data from 134 of the most prominent companies in Spain across various sectors, including banking and insurance, transport, and agri-food. The researchers interviewed IT directors and senior executives from each of these industries.

Even in the context of organisations where there is a positive and motivational culture, the professors find introducing relevant mobile-enabled game elements improve workforce productivity.

“Employees are better equipped to overcome obstacles and be innovative. They make more suggestions, spot opportunities, and constantly seek to improve. The fact that games are played on mobile devices rather than online or on desktops, means they make an even bigger impact. Workers can access the app anywhere, making it easier to connect with playing colleagues and partners,” says Ruiz.

Their research was published in the journal Information and Management.

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